Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Monvesian Culture: Calendars

Dozens of peoples call the lands of Monvesia home.  Each has its own customs and taditions, and many diverge from a common history.  Among these cultures, three calendars have become dominant:  one perpetuated by human advancement; one consolidated from divergent, native customs; and one that tracks only the simplest recurring events.

Senarian Calendar

The common calendar of Monvesia is divided into six seasons of 60 days each, each of which is preceded by an extracalery festival related to one of the philosophical temperaments—for a total of 366 days. While each philosophical priesthood counts its own high holy day as the beginning of the liturgucal year, it is the Feast of Spiritual Thought that is most commonly used as the secular new year.

For followers of the philosophical temperaments, regardless of denomination, the seasons hold spiritual significance, as each is associated with a particular element and temperament.  The seasons, including the feast day which precedes them, are treated as a Zodiac of sorts:  The season one is born in has an influence on your personal and interpersonal development.
  • Feast of Spiritual Thought [vernal equinox, akin to Easter; New Year celebration] 
  • Spring (air) [April - May]
  • Feast of Luminous Affect [akin to Beltain/Pentecost] 
  • Light [or Canny] Time (light) [June - July]
  • Feast of Igneous Energy [a first-fruits celebration] 
  • Summer (fire) [August - September]
  • Feast of Terrestrial Matter [autumnal equinox; akin to Thanksgiving] 
  • Autumn (earth) [October - November]
  • Feast of Vacuous Entropy [akin to Samhain/Halloween] 
  • Dark [or Uncanny] Time (void) [December - January]
  • Feast of the Aqueous Time [akin to Imbolc/Candlemas] 
  • Winter (water) [February - March]
The canonical "order" of the Spheres is taken from the seasonal cycle, above.
RETCON NOTE: The real-world equivalent months have been shifted 
Each season is further sub-divided into 10, six-day weeks.  Days are named as variations of:  Windday, Sunday, Flameday, Stoneday, Starday, Riverday).  Dates are noted as the Nth [y]day of [Season].  For example:  Sixth Windday of Summer (the 31st day of the Season).

Most nations number their years independently—by the reigns of kings or dynasties (such as in Voztok), the foundation of the government, or even the foundation of the nation itself (such as the Empire or Kleimland).  The most universal year count is the Senarian Calendar of the Empire--with year 1 coinciding with the beginning of the reign of the first Emperor.  As this date has religious significance as well, it is also commonly used in Notopoli and Voztok.

Though commonly called the Senarian calendar, this form of date-keeping predates the Universal Senarian Church and the foundation of Senar in Dray.

Lyncastan Calendar

The native calendar of Monvesia, which was in use before the arrival of humankind, is a hybrid of elfish, rakastan, and dwarvish traditions.   It was developed by the [now extinct] Lyncasta, who were the first group of rakasta to interact with both dwarves and elves.  This calendar consists of the elvish seasons (and Gatherings), the rakastan months, and the dwarvish work cycles.  Following the elfish custom, the Rainy Season is the first day of the year; this corresponds to the first say of Winter in the Senarian calendar.

Each season lasts 122 days, incorporating four, 30-day months and a two-day festival called Gathering Days--which were initially reserved for those days each season when elves were unavailable for trade.  They have since become days of rest and celebration for dwarves, gnomes, and rakasta as well.  While each month is divided into five, 6-day "work cycles," Gathering days are not included within these cycles.

The dwarf work cycle of six days arose from a need to maintain productivity while still allowing for rest days.  Every other day, one of the castes takes a day of rest while the others work. The days of the work cycle retain variations of their dwarvish names.
The humans adopted a six-day "week" from this dwarvish custom--but altered the meaning of that number to match their own dogma.  Their Feast Days are an adaption of elfish Gathering Days, as well.
The names of days, months, and season include those of all three cultures:  dwarvish, elfish, and rakasan.
  • High Day:  Maghalidghes, Mjycsecdyn, korkea päivä
  • First Day [of full work]:  Pirvelidghes, Ircdynensimmäinen päivä
  • Middle Day: Shuadghes, Orrcadyn, keski päivä
  • Second Day [of full work]:  Meoredghes, Icindjidyn, toinen päivä
  • Low Day:  Dabalidghes, Dysjycdynalhainen päivä
  • Third Day [of full work]:  Mesamedghes, Ycjyndjydyn, kolmas päivä
  • Rainy Season [Feb - Apr] - Sadekausi, Nja'murr Saaci, Tsvimis Dro
    • Gathering Days (2) 
      • {2nd day =  Feast of Aqueous Time}
    • Rain Moon (30) - Njamurranji, Sateet, Tsvimiani
    • Wind Moon (30) - Rryzdarranji, Tuulet, Kariani
    • Seed Moon (30) - CoxumanjiSiemenet, Tesli
  • Summer Season [May - Jul] - Kesäkausi,  Mjaz SaaciZapkhulis Dro
    • Gathering Day
    • Flower Moon (30) - Cjicjecanji, Kukat, Qvaviloba
    • Meadow Moon (30) - Cjamjirranji, Niittyjä, Speroshi
    • Harvest Moon (30) - Xasacanji, Satoa, Mosavali
  • Autumn Season [Aug - Oct]
    • Gathering Days (2)
      • {2nd day = Feast of Igneous Energy}
    • Heat Moon (30) - Isianji, Lämpöä, Sitbo
    • Fruit Moon (30) - Menjveanji, Hedelmät, Khilis
    • Grape Moon (30) - Yzymanji, Viinirypäleet, Qurdzeni
  • Dark Season [Nov - Jan] - PimeäkausiCarranric SaaciBneli Dro
    • Gathering Day
    • Mist Moon (30) - Sisanji, Sumuista, Qalbi
    • Frost Moon (30) - Donanji, Pakkasta, Tsivi
    • Snow Moon (30) - Carranji, Lunta, Tovliani

Goliath Calendar

The rakasta and the goliaths are the only races of Monvesia to track the cycles of the moon.  While the rakasta months have been incorporated into (and standardized by) the Lyncastan calendar, the goliath calendar remains strictly lunar.  Since the lunar cycle is 30.5 days, the goliath months alternate 30 and 31 days--and all three calendars do synchronize at least once a year.
Months are likely closer to 30.45 days in length--but astrologers have yet to understand that level of precision in this world.

The first day of each month is the day of the first sliver of a crescent after the dark moon.  In months with 30 days, the full moon occurs on the 15th night of the month, but is celebrated on the 14th and 16th nights as well; in months with 31 days, the full moon lasts two nights--the 25th and 16th.  In both cases, the dark moon occurs on the last day of the month.  Since goliaths do not concern themselves with seasons or weeks, the nights of the full and dark moons are the most solemn nights of their calendar.
The light of the full moon is potent on the 14th, 15th, and 16th nights (and 15th and 16th days) of a 30-day month.  In 31-day months, this potency starts on the 15th day of the month--so only lasts the 15th and 16th nights of those months.  Medicine workers have noted that many lycanthropes are affected during these particular nights.
Months do not have unique names in this calendar.  Dates are little more than strings of numbers:  The 7th Day of the 4th Month of the 4,221st Year of Inheritance.

The Goliath new year corresponds with the human civic new year; this is a holdover from the culture they once shared in Desolation.  The first day of the first month corresponds to the Feast of Spiritual Thought; by extension, the first day of the third, fifth, seventh, ninth, and eleventh months each correspond to the other human Feast days.
  • First Month (30)
    • {1st day = Vernal Equinox, or Feast of Spiritual Thought}
  • Second Month (31)
  • Third Month (30)
  • Fourth Month (31)
    • {1st day = Summer Solstice}
  • Fifth Month (30)
  • Sixth Month (31)
  • Seventh Month (30)
    • {1st day = Autumnal Equinox}
  • Eighth Month (31)
  • Ninth Month (30)
  • Tenth Month (31)
    • {1st day = Winter Solstice, or Feast of Terrestrial Matter}
  • Eleventh Month (30)
  • Twelvth Month (31)
Years in this calendar are numbered from the time the goliaths arrived in Inheritance, with each year known as the Nth Year of Inheritance.  The First Year of Inheritance began with the first new moon after the first vernal equinox after goliath landfall.  While regnal years of particular dynasties of the various nations may also be recorded and used in common pratice--the Year of Inheritance number is always tracked as well.

Edited January 15, 2019.

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